The most important weapon at a wrestler's disposal is something that can be gained gradually over time, but also lost in one single moment, never to be returned.
Credibility. No wrestling career can survive without it.
If a wrestler is strong in a particular area of his performance, but weak in others, there are ways to make sure that his weaknesses don't become detrimental to his character.
For instance, Daniel Bryan is not the strongest performer on the mic, but he makes up for it with his exceptional ability in the ring. For the Miz, the exact opposite is true.
The Great Khali is awful at everything, but has an imposing physique. He looks—at least to the casual observer—as if he should be a major threat. This makes him a credible—even if he's utterly incompetent—performer.
Over the years, there have been some spectacular occasions of credibility disappearing faster than a Kofi Kingston push.
Wrestlers, especially early in their career, can take a degree of humiliation and still recover. When the Miz accepted a blindfold from Layla and then unwittingly got a lap dance from Big Dick Johnson, not many would have believed he would become a future World Champion.
Others are not so fortunate.
Here are five individuals whose careers died in one moment of madness.
*Video highlights are on the last slide.
The worst debut in wrestling history.
In 1994, WCW was looking for a brand new monster face and felt nothing said "Monster Face" more than a half-naked, overweight, gay stormtrooper.
"All I can say is, he's going to shock the world" were the words of Sting, introducing the recently signed Fred Ottman.
Aside from "this is going to be more brutal than when Robocop rescued me," he couldn't have been more accurate.
The ShockMaster was due to burst through a wall, revealing himself as the tag partner of Sting, Dustin Rhodes and the British Bulldog, in their forthcoming match with Sid Vicious, Vader and Harlem Heat.
Bust through the wall he did, but sadly he did so horizontally, crashing headfirst into the floor, his glittery, cheap plastic stormtrooper mask rolling off.
Amazingly, things somehow got worse.
The host of the segment, Ric Flair, can be heard muttering in despair, "Oh my God," largely because the crowd and announcers were more silent than the crowd at a Chris Masters fan convention.
In absolute silence, the ShockMaster retrieves his helmet and rises to his feet. His WCW career was over before it began.
When he spoke, it hardly mattered that his voice, which was provided by Arn Anderson off-stage, sounded like an evil Sesame Street character on ketamine. Anderson was unable to control his giggling while speaking.
Incredibly, WCW tried to save the character by introducing the ShockMaster's nephew, also portrayed by Ottman, suggesting the possibility of a whole family of ShockMasters stumbling around their house and falling through walls.
The opportunity to make the sitcom "At Home with the ShockMasters" was missed however, and the characters quickly vanished from television.
Fred Ottman went on to be Tugboat, but the ShockMaster was never seen again.
Mike Knox, a man slowly being consumed by his own beard, spent four productive years in the WWE, but it's unlikely Shawn Michaels remembers him.
The former Mr. Kelly Kelly made his pay-per-view debut at the 2006 Survivor Series, participating in the brilliant Team DX vs. Team Rated RKO match.
Knox didn't stay long.
Confronting Triple H before the bell, as the Game flirted with Kelly Kelly, he was completely unaware of the Shawn Michaels superkick coming his way as he turned.
As completely unaware as Shawn Michaels appeared to be of his identity.
HBK took time to ask the referee (kayfabe) whether the prone bearded one was somebody in the match, before shrugging and making the pin.
As Knox rolled away towards four long years on the lower card, Michaels appeared genuinely concerned.
The DX member returned to his corner, looking for confirmation that the man he just superkicked was part of the match.
A lengthy discussion followed, with Triple H consulting fellow team members, the Hardy's and CM Punk, to see if anyone knew the oaf with the facial growth's name.
Eventually, agreement was reached that he was definitely called Mike something and HBK was probably right to superkick him.
The match had a surprising and hilarious opening and Mike Knox had zero credibility.
In April 2010 Knox was released from his WWE contract, having never held a title of any kind.
The largest forehead in professional wrestling spent a lot of time hitting stuff.
Stasiak debuted in the WWE in 1999 as "Meat," essentially the sex slave of the female stable PMS. After a spell in WCW, he returned to WWE in 2001, and this second run is how he is best remembered.
And remembered for doing a lot of running.
During the Invasion angle, Stasiak attempted to impress Alliance leader Steve Austin by attacking main eventers such as Kurt Angle and The Rock.
In response to this, main eventers took the precaution of not breaking conversation, stepping an inch or two to the left and ignoring Stasiak as he careened past and smashed into a wall.
On a September 2001 episode of SmackDown, The Rock issued an open challenge to anyone in the locker room who wished to compete for his WCW title.
Stasiak, willing as ever, made his way to the ring and was thrown over the top rope with less care and effort than the person responsible for Heath Slater's hair.
The Great One clarified his challenge one more time. It was open to "anyone," a description which didn't include Stasiak.
Undeterred, the Mecca of Manhood returned to the ring to receive a stern lecture and one of the most magnificent put-downs in wrestling history.
As Stasiak meekly nodded his head in ascent, The Rock told him:
"Twice the Rock threw you over the top rope. Do you like that? Huh? No, no you don't. Does it feel good when the Rock throws you over the top rope? Huh? No, no it doesn't. It's embarrassing, isn't it? And, it probably hurts."
Stasiak remained with the WWE for exactly one more year, during which his peak achievement was being referred to by William Regal as a "Silly Tart," and taking the subsequent pin in less than three seconds.
Somewhere out there, Stasiak is still running.
Back in 1999, Gangrel had arguably the most exciting entrance of any performer, and was associated with two of WWE's greatest tag teams, the Hardy's and Edge & Christian.
Gangrel's success was based on his vampire gimmick and his swaggering—yet mysterious—blood-drinking evil persona.
Despite weight issues and hair straight out of the heavy metal band Poison, Gangrel was cool.
This all changed in October 1999, the night after the wildly successful No Mercy ladder match between Edge & Christian and the New Brood.
As the four participants in that match basked in a standing ovation, Gangrel took the opportunity to grin like he'd just seen the word "Boobies" on a calculator before telling everyone how he'd "scored" with Terri Runnels.
Suddenly, Gangrel was far less Kiefer Sutherland from "The Lost Boys" and far more Beavis from "...and Butthead."
The awesome ring entrance and music remained but Gangrel was now perceived by the audience as a giggling schoolboy in costume.
He remained in the midcard until his release in 2001, making occasional, sporadic, but largely forgettable returns.
On the positive side, even at his lowest point, he was still far cooler than Mordecai.
In April 2007, as part of the Deuce 'n' Domino tag team, Sim Snuka won the tag team titles.
Son of the legendary Jimmy Snuka, Sim very briefly held a place in Randy Orton's Legacy, after teaming with Cody Rhodes to beat Cryme Tyme.
Things seemed to suggest that with the right break, Snuka could become an established star on the WWE roster.
Then came WrestleMania 25.
The Undertaker's suicide dive very nearly became literal when Snuka, posing as a cameraman, found himself in the wrong position to break the fall.
As Michaels frantically attempted to push him forward, the Undertaker narrowly avoided breaking his neck on the floor.
All performers botch moves, but Snuka had chosen the biggest match on the biggest night of the year. As nothing more than an anonymous cameraman, there was also no possibility of him making up for his mistake.
Two months later, he was released from his WWE contract.
Kurt Angle tells the crowd how he's the first ever Eurocontinental Champion in February 2000. Except for D'Lo Brown, who Angle says "doesn't count." Cue "You don't count" chants directed at D'Lo for weeks afterwards. Kurt Angle goes on to win numerous world titles. D'Lo appears on UK television disaster "Celebrity Wrestling."
Chavo Guerrero dresses up in a variety of silly costumes, engages in novelty matches and takes humiliating beatings all to put over a midget who is apparently hilarious because he's small.
Maxine and Kaitlyn, for engaging in the worst match of 2010 on an episode of NXT, and one of the most toe-curlingly amateur performances in history.
Edge's put-down of the recently injured R-Truth: "Lets remember our good friend R-Truth. He only knew one song but he sang it oh so well!"
David Otunga. For being David Otunga.
The ShockMaster arrives... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFFJnLW_2pU&feature=related
Stasiak missing the Rock... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6diE6N10lCQ&playnext=1&list=PLB22A844C28B51D63
The Rock issues a challenge... http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1htx3_the-great-one-promo-match-with-stas_sport
Thanks for reading.